Pest invasions raise health and safety concerns and are, unfortunately, abundant in the U.S. In 2021, over 28 million American residential buildings and homes reported sightings of roaches, mice, or rats.
However, there is a common misconception that pests are more likely to invade during the warmer months. Property owners tend to assume that pest behavior is determined by the mating season, which does tend to happen when temperatures are moderate to high.
The reality is this: even in the winter months, pest control should still be top of mind. Let’s take some time to talk about winter pest control.
Read on as we dive into winter pest problems and the top pest control strategies to protect your home or business this winter.
Which Pests Can You Encounter in Winter Months?
No, you’re not going to find any mosquitos or bees inside your home in the winter months–unless you live in a year-round warm climate. Further north, where winter brings near-freezing and below-freezing temperatures, these summertime pests will go dormant for a few months.
However, other pests are capable of surviving in lower temperatures and, in fact, will seek out your warm home or business as shelter. This includes animals like rats and mice. It also includes a handful of bugs and insects like roaches, spiders, fleas, moths, and bed bugs.
Your home doesn’t just provide warmth in the cold months. It also provides sustenance, which can be difficult to find when plant life dies off.
The good news is that there are ways to make your home both impenetrable and uninviting to invading winter pests.
How Can You Winterize Your Home Against These Winter Pests?
Winterizing your home against winter pests will take both inside and outside work. Let’s look at a handful of pest control strategies that will take your home or business off the market for rodents and insects this winter.
1. Draw Pests Away from Your Property
First, you’re going to want to make a few changes to your outdoor property. Start by pulling any firewood or kindling away from your home, keeping it a minimum of 20 feet away from exterior walls. Rodents, like mice, tend to nest in piles of wood and when these piles are close to your home, they’re likely to make the leap indoors.
Next, feel free to leave things like leaf litter on the edges of your property, but once again, keep it away from your exterior walls. All of those warm-weather insects don’t die off en masse during the winter. Instead, they burrow underground, preferring areas with plenty of cover–like leaf litter.
2. Block Off Entry Points
Next, it’s time to block off the entry points pests are using to move into your property. This takes a few handy materials like caulk as well as a keen eye. Partnering with a pest prevention service is one way to make sure you catch all of the cracks and crevices you may otherwise overlook.
Use caulk to close up any cracks in your foundation or exterior walls. Make sure that your window screens are intact and secured and that your chimney has its own intact screen, as well. Door sweepers can also help to block out any creepy crawlers that are seeking a source of warmth and sustenance.
3. Cut Off Sources of Moisture in Your Home
Like all living organisms, winter pests need water to survive. Make sure that your home isn’t providing water to pests without your knowledge.
Check all of your indoor plumbing for leaks or signs of erosion or cracking. Make sure that you address any plumbing problems, including something as simple as a dripping faucet. Consider installing dehumidifiers in areas of your home that produce a ton of humidity, like your basement, crawl space, or bathrooms.
4. Cut Off Sources of Food in Your Home
Pests are also looking for a food source. Unfortunately, some of them–like termites–can consume materials found around your home, like the cellulose in wood and carpeting. Others–like bed bugs–are surviving off of, well, you.
Still, plenty of pests, like cockroaches and rodents, are after a lot of the things that we as humans eat. Make sure that you’re not storing any food on the ground or leaving out food scraps or leftovers. Make sure that your food is in sealed containers, using plastic or glass containers to store dry goods when necessary.
(Bonus tip: reduce your household clutter. There are some pests that can turn clutter like cardboard or junk mail into a meal.)
5. Got a Winter Pest Problem? Fight Back the Smart Way
What can you do if you’re already dealing with a pest problem in winter? Perhaps you didn’t know that you should winterize your home against pets until it was too late.
Fortunately, you can deal with your current pest problem and put all of our other tips into practice at the same time. The trick is to make sure that you’re using the right tools for your specific pest problem.
Rodent deterrents and traps used in combination can help to reduce or eliminate a rodent infestation. Certain scents, like mint oil, can help to drive away the ones that don’t get caught in your traps.
What about insects? We’ve got a solution for that, too. Cryonite technology is easy to use and eliminates insects, including those hard-to-destroy eggs, with minimal effort.
Keep Your Home Pest-Free With Winter Pest Control
Pest control isn’t just for the warm months. Winter pest control is crucial in keeping your home free of winter pests–plus, it helps to increase your defenses against the higher number of pests that we’ll encounter this spring.
Looking for more ways to defend yourself against pests? Take a look at our resources to keep your home or business pest-free and sanitary.